Sharing Success Stories in Your Mastermind Meetings

In mastermind groups, atmosphere and mindset matter. To help set the right tone and atmosphere in mastermind group meetings, I encourage you to start each meeting with a round of Success Stories. These are 1 or 2 minute retelling of something that’s happened to each person since the last meeting that makes them feel successful.

Each person’s definition of “success” is different. For one person, it might be finally cleaning and decluttering their office. For another person, it might be having an important relationship-building conversation with their child. It could be the million dollar sale, or walking three times in the past week.

It doesn’t matter what the actual success story is. What matters is that we bring forward those things that make us feel successful and share them with the group…and that the group hears it and acknowledges it and applauds it. And it helps us to define what success looks like and feels like.

This helps foster a positive mental attitude and helps people look for success in everyday occurrences. And after all, isn’t that what a mastermind group is all about? Helping each other with great ideas, getting into action around those ideas, and feeling successful because of that action.


How Fear Can Ruin Your Mastermind Group

Let’s cut to the chase: Your group has been active for a few months and everyone is getting along fine. Then all of a sudden, people stop showing up on time. Or they’re not prepared. Or their creativity is blocked and the group brainstorming stinks.

What Happened?

It’s simple. Mastermind groups ask people to grow and change. People want to grow and change…or at least they say they do.

But when the rubber hits the road and you ask people to not only set goals but to be held accountable for completing goals, things fall apart.

Fear raises its ugly head and people in a mastermind group stop working efficiently together. You’ve heard the litany of fears:

  • What if I’m successful? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I fail? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if others get jealous? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I run out of money? Will it ruin my life?
  • What if I make the wrong decision? Will it ruin my life?

(Notice how each fear goes to the worse-case scenario? That’s what fear does to us, and that’s how you’ll be able to spot it in your mastermind group Hot Seats.)

How to Fix It

First of all, tell people in the very first meeting that fear is likely to come up in a month or two, so that they’re prepared for it. Find out from them what their common fears are around change, growth and learning curves. Ask them to keep a journal of their thoughts and feelings so that they can identify when fear arrives — and deal with it — before it grabs a hold and won’t let go.

Second, ask the mastermind group to support each other knowing that this sluggish time will happen to nearly everyone in the group. Create space in your meetings for people to talk about their fears and the way they self-sabotage themselves. Brainstorm with each other to find ways of dealing with the problem.

Finally, keep holding each other accountable to take action. You might need to ratchet back the action items into smaller steps, making them less daunting and more do-able. But don’t allow people to stop taking action and wallow in fear.

Being prepared in advance for this to happen will help your mastermind group tough it out during these small crises. After all, that’s what you’re in a mastermind group for — support, brainstorming and accountability!


Why Is Accountability Important?

In your process of creating success, you’ve created a massive To Do list, right?

Accountability is one of the cornerstone principles in mastermind groups. Accountability is all about helping others to reach their goals through purposeful, sustainable action.

Wikipedia describes accountability as, “A is accountable to B when A is obliged to inform B about A’s (past or future) actions and decisions, to justify them, and to suffer punishment in the case of eventual misconduct.”

Well, I’m not so sure about the “suffer punishment” part when you talk about accountability in mastermind groups, but certainly setting up an accountability structure can help Person A get things done and Person B can help hold their feet to the fire.

In the Coaching industry, we often suggest that people have an Accountability Partner, a person who agrees to:

  • Pay close attention to your overall goals
  • Keeps a list of which actions you say you will achieve (and the due date for each action)
  • Reminds you when actions are not completed or not achieved by the deadline date
  • Challenges you when the actions you take are not leading toward the goal you desire

The power of an Accountability Partner is that you do the same for them. This mini-mastermind helps to extend the power of a mastermind group between meetings, and works in tandem with setting and keeping goals within the mastermind meetings themselves.


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